Punitive Damages in a South Carolina Wrongful Death Case

Losing a loved one as a result of someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing is a heartbreaking experience. Pursuing a wrongful death claim can help you recover compensation for your losses, but you may also be entitled to punitive damages in some cases. Punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party for their reckless or intentional behavior and deter them from repeating it in the future. Punitive damages may be awarded in wrongful death cases in South Carolina under certain conditions.

We have extensive experience assisting families in pursuing wrongful death claims and obtaining the compensation they deserve, including punitive damages, at the David W. Martin Law Group. We will explain what punitive damages are, when they may be awarded, and how they may affect your wrongful death case in this blog.

What exactly are Punitive Damages?

Wrongful death and metal handcuffs

Punitive damages are a type of compensation intended to punish the responsible party for their actions and discourage them from repeating them in the future. Punitive damages, as opposed to compensatory damages, are intended to send a message to the responsible party as well as society as a whole.

When Can Punitive Damages Be Awarded in a South Carolina Wrongful Death Case?

Punitive damages may be awarded in a wrongful death case under South Carolina law if the defendant’s behavior was willful, wanton, or reckless. This means that the defendant must have acted with a conscious disregard for other people’s safety and well-being. Examples of behavior that may qualify for punitive damages include driving under the influence, intentionally causing harm to another person, or engaging in conduct that is grossly negligent.

You must prove that the defendant’s actions were not only willful, wanton, or reckless, but that they were also the direct cause of your loved one’s death. This can be a difficult and emotional process, but our skilled attorneys can assist you in gathering evidence, building your case, and fighting for your rights.

What Effect Can Punitive Damages Have on Your Wrongful Death Case?

Punitive damages can have a significant impact on your wrongful death case’s outcome. Punitive damages, if awarded, can increase the total amount of compensation you receive, allowing you to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other losses. Punitive damages can also hold the responsible party accountable and send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated.

It is important to note, however, that punitive damages are not always awarded in wrongful death cases. To find out if you are eligible for punitive damages, speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you on your legal options.


Punitive damages can be significant in a wrongful death case in South Carolina, but they are only awarded in limited circumstances. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of wrongful death, you may be entitled to compensation, including punitive damages, if the responsible party’s behavior was willful, wanton, or reckless. The David W. Martin Law Group has the experience and knowledge to assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation, please contact our South Carolina wrongful death attorneys today at 888-20-32843. We provide compassionate and personalized representation and will fight for your rights tenaciously.

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